Travelers, some in protective gear, walk through a mostly empty John F. Kennedy Airport on April 16, 2020 in New York City.
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State lockdown orders may be less stringent than they were a month or two ago, but summer travel plans aren’t a go everywhere yet.
In Alaska and Maine, visitors are required to present a recent negative COVID-19 test.
Fifteen states, meanwhile, require self-quarantines for incoming travelers: Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Nebraska, North Dakota, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.
Their rules differ, however, depending on where the travelers are coming from (certain countries or states) and what mode of transportation they’re taking (airplane or car).
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New York also directs anyone leaving the state to self-quarantine for two weeks when they arrive at their destination.
Arizona, meanwhile, tells travelers not to go to Navajo Nation, which is seeing record per-capita coronavirus cases. Utah also urges caution for travelers going to the part of Navajo Nation in the southeastern area of that state. Although California doesn’t have statewide travel restrictions in place, the San Francisco Bay Area still restricts nonessential travel.
The map below shows state-by-state travel restrictions and where tourist destinations are open. Blue represents areas that don’t have any restrictions in place, while red represents places with statewide travel rules. In the yellow states, restrictions vary by region.
A list of state-by-state travel restrictions
Many states’ previous stay-at-home orders prohibited nonessential travel and reserved hotels for essential workers. In Delaware, for example, hotels were only allowed to serve essential workers or vulnerable citizens with no other place to stay from April 6 through May 15. In addition, most states temporarily closed tourist attractions that would ordinarily draw crowds.
Here are the 17 states with travel restrictions in place. (States not mentioned below don’t have any state-wide policies.)
Alaska: Anyone who comes into the state must produce documentation of a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours to five days prior to their departure.
Arizona: Directs travelers to avoid passing through Navajo Nation, which is experiencing a large outbreak.
Connecticut: Travelers from states with positive COVID-19 rates of at least 10 cases per 100,000 residents must self-quarantine for 14 days.
Florida: People traveling to the state from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Hawaii: People who travel to any of the islands must self-quarantine for 14 days.
Idaho: A 14-day self-quarantine is encouraged for incoming travelers from another country or an area outside Idaho with substantially higher community spread or case rates.
Illinois: Requires 14-day self-quarantines for people coming from China, Iran, and Italy.
Kansas: Travelers from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, or New York must quarantine for 14 days.
Maine: Requires travelers from everywhere except New Hampshire and Vermont to either undergo a 14-day self-quarantine or present a recent negative COVID-19 test.
Nebraska: Directs all incoming international travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days.
North Dakota: Directs all incoming international travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days.
New Jersey: Individuals who travel from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
New Mexico: Requires all incoming visitors to self-isolate for at least 14 days.
New York: Individuals who travel from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. The state also requires anyone leaving to self-isolate at their destination.
Oklahoma: Mandates that individuals traveling from Connecticut, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, or Washington self-quarantine for 14 days
Pennsylvania: Requires travelers from areas with “significant community spread” to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Rhode Island: Requires travelers from areas with “significant community spread” to self-quarantine for 14 days.
US federal policy requires all residents who have visited Brazil, China, Iran, the United Kingdom, Ireland, or Western Europe during the previous 14 days to return to the country through one of 13 airports where the government is doing additional screening procedures.
The Reading Public Museum in Reading, Pennsylvania starts to reopen to small groups who have memberships, on June 12, 2020.
Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images
Which tourist attractions are open?
Different types of tourist attractions bring varying levels of risk. In general, the four risk factors to avoid are enclosed spaces, crowds, close contact with others, and situations that make social distancing difficult.
So uncrowded hiking trails and beaches are less dangerous than, say, an interactive museum.
For that reason, many states have already reopened outdoor tourist destinations. Alabama, Florida, Minnesota, and Missouri have reopened outdoor concert venues, for example, though they’re limiting capacity so that visitors can maintain social distance.
Arkansas, Idaho, South Carolina, and Tennessee have opened water parks. Most states have opened beaches, though some, like California and Florida, are mostly letting localities decide.
Washington, DC allows outdoor tourist attractions like historical monuments to be open as well, though indoor ones remain closed.
As for indoor destinations — like museums, restaurants, zoos, aquariums — some states have left it to counties to decide what to reopen (that’s the case in Texas, for example). Others, such as California still have blanket bans on indoor museums and other recreational venues. Museums are reopening, however, in Alaska, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, and South Carolina.
Under most stay-at-home orders, restaurants were allowed to sell food for takeout and delivery. Now, many states allow restaurants to host dine-in customers, with restrictions. Some states limit diners to outdoor seating, cap the number of patrons inside a space to 25% or 50% of its full capacity, or keep dine-in experiences reservation-only. In Nebraska, for example, restaurants can operate at half capacity.
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